“I don’t even think Jesus could change my mind. . .”

Because it remains too hot to work in the garden, I’ve been holed up indoors watching  movies. Some are so forgettable that they’re just background noise while I work on other projects, however lately I stumbled upon two in a row that addressed how easily people suspend reason for blind faith. First, I should say that my spiritual beliefs are based on personal experience and would probably shock my agnostic and atheist friends but I keep them to myself. Nor do I want to discuss anyone else’s beliefs – unless they want to tell me about a UFO or BigFoot sighting, of course.

Now to the movies I saw.  The first was simply called Bernie.  I’d seen clips of this movie before but wasn’t interested because of the synopsis: “A Texas town comes to the defense of a mortician’s assistant who shot an heiress  in the back and then stuffed her body in a freezer.” Sounds like a slasher movie, right?

Actually, it’s based on an incident that took place in 1998 in Carthage Texas.  Because I knew that going in, I assumed that all of the interviews in the movie were interviews with the townspeople of Carthage. Then I recognized a couple of famous actors.  Whoops. 

Probably not the actual prosecutor in Carthage Texas.

The story’s a familiar one: a young man becomes the companion of a wealthy old lady. Eventually he gains access to her finances, then grows tired of her clinginess and shoots her in the back. However, there’s a twist. After the murder, he uses her money to become the town’s most popular philanthropist. They all love Bernie!  Even when the body’s found and Bernie confesses, they refuse to believe he could have actually committed murder.  Perhaps because no one liked the old woman, or perhaps because they’ve benefitted from her murder.  One by one they look into the camera and say things like: “It’s up to God to judge, not me” and  “I don’t think even Jesus could change my mind [about Bernie’s innocence].”

The case became the first in Texas history where the prosecutor requested a change of venue because of bias in favor of the defendant. (BTW – he was convicted in a different county)

The second movie was Inherit the Wind, a fictionalization of the Scopes (Monkey) Trial of 1925. A teacher is arrested and put on trial for teaching evolution to a group of southern high school students, igniting a wave of hatred and threats of violence. The defense attorney, played by Spencer Tracey, attempts to argue to the court and the town that God’s greatest gift to mankind is the ability to wonder and if children are told it is a sin to wonder, civilization will spin in reverse.

Seeing these two movies almost back to back answered a question that has bothered me since the election.  How can so many people who claim to be Christians back a man who espouses a doctrine of isolationism, mocks handicapped people and brags he can shoot people on Fifth Avenue and still be worshipped?  And not just support him,  but with a blinding certainty that is frightening to those of us who want to retain our freedom to wonder.  

It’s like a character in Bernie said “I don’t even think Jesus could change my mind. . .”  Not even Jesus.“Darwin had it wrong. Man’s still an ape,” Gene Kelly as E. K. Hornbeck of the Baltimore Herald to Spencer Kelly in Inherit the Wind.

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Buffalo Tom Peabody's blog 2

A short story about Dreams…

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Amos Muzyad Yakhoob Kairouz, known professionally by his stage name Danny Thomas had a dream…

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Danny Thomas was born in 1912, the son of Lebanese immigrants and raised in Toledo Ohio.
As the founder of St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Danny’s dream came true. Groundbreaking for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital…

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A magnificent dream come true, saving children’s lives at zero cost to the families! St Jude Children’s Research Hospital also finding cures and developing therapies that save children’s lives.

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At this very moment Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and Congressional Republicans have a nightmare for you… ending Medicaid and taking Healthcare away from over 30 million Americans.

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I choose to stand with an American Hero, Danny Thomas! I choose to make the dream come true for all!

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Your best friends,
Buffalo Tom, Gunther, Iggy & Larry
July 21, 2017

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#ThursdayDoors: Sky Hearts

I haven’t been blogging or writing much lately.  The reason: the heat. The heat steals all my ambition and leaves me longing for short days and long nights, the rain, the fog and particularly the drizzle. Even when a cool breeze is blowing, being outside this time of year requires pockets full of Kleenex. Allergy medicine only renders me more useless. However today is Thursday Doors and so I have roused myself sufficiently to finally move on from Janis Joplin.

This is the entrance to American Conservatory Theater (ACT), also known as the Geary, in downtown San Francisco.  It’s a non-profit theater and acting school which has launched the successful careers of innumerable actors since it was built in 1910. The doors are not that fancy unless you look at the detailing around the portico.

The Curran Theater is right next door.

This theater hosts commercially successful plays and musicals whereas the ACT focuses on pieces that are meant to be discussed and analyzed.  There are, of course, hundreds of theaters in San Francisco but these two along with the Orpheum (which is further down Market Street) are the biggies. Of course, we were in the City to see a play so finding these theaters and their doors was something I expected to do. No surprise there. However it’s always the unexpected that is the most fun to share.

Like a plane forming a heart over Union Square. I have no idea why.  A marriage proposal?

And then after lunch we stumbled upon this interesting “window”?

A peace sign made of license plates.  On the other side of the wall is this most unusual conference room.

Sure beats the conference rooms where I spent way too many hours of my life. I don’t know why CEOs think something creative is going to come out of a boring, drab room with no windows but they do. We would not have discovered these two delightful places had I not had to pee. They were both in the basement of the hotel/restaurant where we’d chosen to have lunch: The Zeppelin.

If the heat’s not getting you down (or even if it is) head on over to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors event. Perhaps someone else has stumbled onto something unique while trying to find a place to pee.